Selecting a Commercial Real Estate Broker

Jordan Lipsey Tools Leave a Comment

I often see property owners shooting from the hip when selecting a commercial real estate broker to represent them in the sales process. While most people enjoy working with people they like (me included), too often, relationship elements end up driving the selection process. Working with an advisor who listens, communicates well, and is friendly is an easy path to take. And while these are admittedly important traits when selecting a friend, likeability is not the best basis for selecting a commercial real estate advisor to sell your property. Instead, what we typically see from sophisticated clients is a selection process that consists of establishing selection criteria, conducting interviews and making a decision based on a combination of objective scoring and the human factor of likeability.

If you have your own set of criteria in mind for the selection process, that’s great. Here are some other questions and considerations to discuss in an interview or, using a more formal approach, weigh and score using a decision matrix. Again, a sample decision matrix can be downloaded at

Questions for Potential CRE Advisors:

  • How long have you been selling and/or leasing commercial real estate?
  • What product types do you specialize in (general, industrial, retail, land, etc.)?
  • Do you specialize in buying, selling, leasing, or some combination of the three?
  • How many transactions have you completed in your career?
  • Can you provide a list of transactions for the past three to five years, with a map showing their locations?
  • What sets you apart from other brokers in the industry?
  • Can you give me five references from owners for whom you have sold properties in the past three years?

Proposed Marketing Plan for This Property:

  • What is your proposed approach to marketing my property?
  • What is your estimated value of this property and proposed pricing strategy?
  • What are the characteristics of the likely buyers for this property?
  • How will you reach those potential buyers?
  • How long do you estimate it will take to sell the property?
  • How many properties in this approximate size range have sold in the past two to three years in this sub-market?
  • What is the price range and price per square foot for those properties, and how did they differ from my property?
  • Who were the buyers of those properties, and what were the properties used for?

Interviewing potential advisors based on these questions should give you a sense of how to separate the top players from the bottom tier brokers. The important point here is that you should follow a selection process and consider at least two or three options before committing to a broker or team. Your decision could impact your life and financial situation in a major way. Selecting the right commercial real estate advisor can pay you big dividends for many years going forward, not to mention make your life easier and more enjoyable during the sales process.

Learn more about selecting a potential broker and other important tips and pointers at

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